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  • Writer's pictureLynsey Krusie

Revitalizing a Historic Downtown Property

Updated: Aug 15, 2022

Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine is pleased to announce its plan to relocate and revitalize a historic, downtown property at 215 West Mississippi Drive for their office, potential incubator, and community spaces in an underutilized 1870s building that some may remember most recently as ‘The Button Factory’ restaurant.

The anticipated purchase will facilitate redevelopment of a building with historical relevance, further enhance downtown investment, stabilize the occupancy of local downtown business, and strengthen external economic activity in collaborative and amplifying ways.

The Community Foundation recognizes the importance of redevelopment of this building due to its historical significance and prominent location in the downtown corridor. The building was originally operated as an oatmeal factory before becoming produce, button, and tool companies, and finally restaurants before closing in 2014.

“We are pleased to announce the intended reinvigoration of the 215 West Mississippi Drive property. It has sat and served prominently in the heart of our community for more than 150 years,” said Charla Schafer, President, CFGM. “We recognize that the Community Foundation also serves at the heart of the community. This blend of place and mission will create the ideal collaborative space for our work today and far into the future.”

Anticipated Plans for the Building

First Floor

  • Community Foundation office headquarters

  • Large commercial kitchen and teaching space will continue to be provided to Muscatine Community College for their Culinary Program, while also potentially being utilized as an incubator space for local entrepreneurs to test restaurant options.

  • Collaborative space in the existing dining room, large private boardroom, and three-season porch may be available for meetings.

Second Floor

  • Large meeting space that could accommodate up to 100 attendees. It is anticipated that this space will be used for collaborative leadership, community, and organizational meetings.

  • Array of office space is being evaluated to be developed, including the possibility of co-working spaces.

Aligning with City of Muscatine's Comprehensive Plan

The project also aligns with the City of Muscatine's comprehensive plan to foster entrepreneurship and support downtown development. It is prominently located among several investment projects, including:

  • Located next door to the Merrill, a $42 million luxury, AAA, 4-star hotel, ranked "No. 20 Hotel in the USA," by TripAdvisor and the "No. 1 Hotel" in Iowa according to US News World Report.

  • Immediately across from the Muscatine Riverfront. Since the early 1990s, Muscatine has invested significant resources in the redevelopment of the Riverfront with the primary goal of making it accessible and attractive.

  • Nestled along the Mississippi Drive, a showcase corridor for the city. The re-imagined corridor was recognized with the Urban Design Award in 2020.

  • Overlooks the proposed Riverfront Amphitheater, which was endorsed by the City Council in 2021 to create an unforgettable experience along the Mississippi River.


It is anticipated that CFGM will take ownership of the building by 2023, with some office spaces being utilized this fall.


We would be remiss if we did not recognize our partnership with The Merrill Hotel and Muscatine Community College, as we bring this plan to fruition. And thank Tom and Ann Meeker for recognizing the importance of this structure bringing life back into the downtown corridor.

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